The wonder word: WYSIWYG

January 16, 2013 - Leave a Response

If you are reading this you are probably pondering the meaning of today’s wonder word WYSIWYG. Well, pronounced wi-ze-,wig -, WYSIWYG is a display generated by word-processing or desktop-publishing software that exactly reflects the appearance of the printed document. Example sentence: The pamphlets look great and were easy to create ; we made them using a sample WYSIWYG editing program.

This was taken out of the 365 New Words a year calendar that I received from Mitchell for Christmas.

Just felt like educating you all on this cold arctic day in Armenia (…or it could be as a result of a challenge by MD himself..Challenge accepted my friend…challenge, accepted).

As a reward for you getting through this I have included some photos from Indianapolis ice skating with my parents, sister, brother-in-law and nieces on January 2nd, 2013 and a few from around Talin over the past week. Love you guys,

BrianTalin Square in the winter freeze Matt & Jennifer Pre-Ice Frozen clean laundry The teacher at work Megan getting a little help! Grandpa & Jennifer Megan Skating! Yesterday's Sunset


October 28, 2012 - Leave a Response

This past week was fall break for the majority of the schools in Armenia. This is significant due to the fact that Tom, Jack and I were free to complete the second installment of the MAN challenge series: The runningMANchallenge from Artik to Gyumri – 15 miles of running and 4 stops along the way to test both our mental and physical endurance. Developed by Jack, this test proved to be more difficult than the first but not enough to keep us from our goal of the Gyumri Beer factory.

How it went down:

8:30am: began running from Artik

8:45am: stretched near the Andranik statue just outside of town

8:50am: began our first 30 minutes of running

9:20am: Stopped just before Horom for the Rock challenge. Here we each had to complete various exercises by carrying a rock, selected by Jack, for 8 minutes. If anyone dropped their rock before the time was up the first round of beers was on them. No rounds were bought as a result of this as everyone completed it without a problem.

9:30am: started our 45 minute run

10:15am: we stopped soon after the turn onto M-1 (the main highway between Gyumri and Yerevan) for the Fire Challenge. The most unique, this task was to be completed with a bandanna, clothespin and the use of a friend. With the blindfold & clothespin on, we first had to pick up one person, squat 10 times, carry them 10 meters, drop them, drag them 10 meters, pick them up again and carry them 20 meters, complete 5 dead lifts with the person, then drag them 20 meters all for time. Duffy completed Fire the fastest in 2 minutes 54 seconds. The first victory given was rightfully his.

10:40am: We began another 30 minutes of running

11:10am: We stopped just shy of Azatan to complete, the “I hate you Duffy” task. In this test, we completed as many leg exercises we could before the 8 minute timer was up. The one who was farthest down the list of exercises would be deemed winner, and of course have earned another beer. No surprise, Duffy prevailed again. And, in case you were wondering, both Tom and I told Duffy we hated him during this challenge..ha.

11:30am: Hit by fatigue we shortened our run to 15 minutes

11:45am: We stopped within eye view of the Gyumri Airport to complete the “I can’t breath” Challenge. This required each of us to complete 8 minutes of various exercises for one minute each. It was awful and awesome at the same time.

12:00pm: At noon we made our way on the last leg of the journey

12:15pm: We arrived at the Gyumri Beer Factory where we collapsed, drank a round of Gyumri’s finest, ate a heap of horovats, and were joined by Kim and Kelsey.

It was a great day thanks to both Tom and Jack!

Next up: the CascadeChallenge. Who’s in?

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Talin 5K was a huge success!!!

October 2, 2012 - Leave a Response

Check out the photos and results from the 2nd Talin 5K that was held on September 30, 2012 at:


Northman Challenge: accepted!

September 23, 2012 - Leave a Response

For those viewers of the TV show “How I met your mother”, you will understand it when I say that on the day of Armenia’s 21st anniversary of Independence from Russia on Friday, September 21, 2012 at just before 7:30pm, James Kim, Jack Duffy and I made Barney Stinson proud as we completed the Northman Challenge.

The Northman Challenge created by Jack went as follows:

1. Start in Artik
2. 500 jump-rope double unders (or 250 star jumps)
3. Hike to Maralik and complete 200 push-up variations
4. Hike to lanjik and complete 300 crunch/sit-up variations.

5. Hike to the rock man and complete 200 squat/lunge variations with pack

6. Hike to and climb Mt. Arteni


This will be the first of many challenges to be completed this year. If you have any ideas or wish to participate please let one of us know! Do it.

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Summer 2012, coming to an end!

August 28, 2012 - Leave a Response

With less than one week until school starts across Armenia, it is apparent by the cooling temperatures and the flood of people travelling to Yerevan to buy school supplies, that indeed summer will be ending soon. Though this means the approach of fall…and eventually winter..eek, it also has meant the end of the A20s training and the arrival of a new volunteer in Talin!

Erica, who will be teaching English at the second school & world vision, moved in with  her host family here on August 9th. Her arrival has meant that I am no longer the only weird foreigner in town! Her first week was very busy filled with kids camp at Talin Hope, English and fitness class and dinners at what seemed to be half the homes in Talin.

As you will see from the pictures camp was full of kids (almost 50)! Anahit, the director of Talin Hope, organizes this camp for over a month every year. When I arrived last August, the camp was just ending, so was excited to be a part of it this year, even if only for a week. On September 30th, Talin Hope and I will be working to organize another 5K here, all donations and entry fees going to support the 2013 camps.

Though I am not an English teacher, except for the short time in Chile in 2008, the women’s fitness class has begun English tutoring three days a week, M/W/F. This new addition to the schedule is fun, though I really don’t know what I am doing..ha. I speak English so that is a good first step. If anyone has suggestions please send them my way!!!

Well, until next time, enjoy some guacamole and margaritas for me!

love you!

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Summer Slideshow!

July 30, 2012 - Leave a Response

Barev dzez!!!  After over a month away from Talin, due to the Border to Border hike through the north of Armenia in June and the Barcelona and Cruise trip in July, this is only the second full day that I have been here since June 9th!!! This down time gives me the chance to provide you with a general overview of my summer (up to this point) in slideshow form.

Please enjoy it and its random order…he he…

highlights: Uncle Tom, Parents & Mitchs’ trips to Armenia, Margarita fun in Yerevan, Border2Border, HIV/Aids Workshops,  Barcelona, Cruise, Talin Dolls Meetings, New Volunteers in Armenia, and much more!!!

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Talin 5K Results & Photos!

May 13, 2012 - Leave a Response

As part of an initiative to raise fitness & health awareness in Talin (and to try and mimic the Indianapolis Mini Marathon…ha), Talin Hope, a local Non-profit organization in Talin, hosted the first annual Talin 5K yesterday, May 12th, 2012 at noon.

Please check out the results & photos at:


My “new” address!

March 14, 2012 - Leave a Response

as of December 1st, 2011, this has been my “new” address..ha. Thanks for all of the letters & packages!!! Please keep them coming!

Brian Bokhart
Shamoomian 4, Apt. 14
Talin 0501

Բրայան Բոքհարթ
Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն
Թալին 0501
Շահումիան 4, Բն. 14

Spring is almost here!

March 8, 2012 - Leave a Response

It is the beginning of March, which in Armenia means spring has arrived. Not in the sense that I think of though. In the states, I correlate spring with rain, flowers, budding trees & warming temperatures. All that I have seen here is more snow. Lots more in fact.

Since March 1st,  it has snowed 3 days already and the sheets of ice are becoming even thicker on the streets of Talin. It makes walking more entertaining but probably won’t miss it in the six month hiatus of winter that I am told is just around the corner. One bright spot of the cold has been the realization that not having a refrigerator is irrelevant. You see, with a  kitchen that stays at a median temperature of 40 degrees I am set!

Though the cold is lingering there have been things to keep me moving and busy. The biggest changes have come with the creation of the Talin Handicrafts first dolls & the women’s fitness group that I am leading at the sports school.

HANDICRAFTS – This past Saturday, Gayane and I traveled to Yerevan to meet Tim (founder of Homeland Handicrafts) at a expo where we sat at the table with all of the products for the day. We did not sell any of the dolls that day, but we learned some techniques in Armenian customer service and one lady even provided examples for Gayane & Tim to use to develop the rest of the line of dolls being made here in Talin.

SPORTS SCHOOL – Every Tuesday & Thursday night at 7pm, a group of 12 ladies meet at the Talin Sports School for a fitness class. Set out as place for the women to work out and socialize, this group has quickly become the most rewarding thing I have been a part of in country. In only our third week, we are focusing on total body fitness for the first 45 minutes, with cardio and basic body weight exercises, and then playing games for the next 45 minutes. My favorite part is dodge ball, because these woman have no mercy. So, watch out if you come and visit, they will be ready to hit you..ha.

In other news, today is International Women’s Day in Armenia and Europe. So, most places are closed, such as schools, banks & governmental buildings. This means, that I have had time to get some things I have been putting off done (like writing blogs..ha) & also studying Armenian! It has been a few weeks since the last time I have really sat down and made attempts, but today is a great day for it! Also, I heard that since today is Women’s Day, men are encouraged to have presents for every woman they see in the streets. I only have 6 pieces of chocolate so staying indoors may be a good idea.

Good thing Gayane, my language teacher, lives in the next building over. I should make it there and still have some left over for the fitness class tonight. Do you think it is bad to bring chocolate & wine to a gym? Oh well, when in Armenia…

Love you guys!

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March 8, 2012 - Leave a Response

Well, a day after the birthday celebrations came and went in most parts of the world, Mitch & I kept them going in Paris.

From February 12th through the 15th, we met up and explored the city of lights, eating incredible food (no cotton candy though, sorry Mitch), visiting museums, taking countless photos & speaking French. Well, Mitch did anyways…pardon moi, I took spanish in school..ha. 

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